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Two from The Real Singapore Arrested for Sedition Following a Thaipusam Article Accused of Promoting Xenophobia

Two persons from The Real Singapore (TRS) have been arrested and investigated by the police for offenses under the Sedition Act.

Robin Yang, 26, a Singaporean man and Ai Takagi, 22, a Japanese-Australian woman  were arrested by the Singapore police on 6 February. The two are said to be owners of the social political website.

They were arrested for posting an allegedly seditious article about the recent Thaipusam incident on the TRS website.

In a statement, police said they posted remarks online that “could promote ill-will and hostility among the different races in Singapore”.

Police said that they received reports on 6 February regarding an “insensitive article” that had been posted online.

The eye-witness account in the TRS article claimed that the arrests made on 3 February was sparked off when a Filipino family complained against the urumi players after their child cried and told the police to have the urumi players stop playing. The article was shared 6.5 thousands times

The video which carried the same statement had 279 thousand views and shared 5 thousands over times.

Many of the commenters were noticeably disturbed by the mention of the Filipino family in the article and the video and made negative remarks against the nationality in the comment threads.

It was later revealed, upon police investigation, that there was no Filipino family involved in the incident.

TRS has issued a statement acknowledging that one of its editors involved in the running of the alternative news site has been called up for investigation by police, along with four others in relation to an article about a Thaipusam incident, in which three men were arrested.

“Investigations are centering around only this 1 article and all other contributors and other articles are currently not being probed.”

Under the Sedition Act, anyone found guilty of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore could be jailed for up to three years, or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

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